Only two rounds remain in the 2011 AMA Supecross season as the series heads to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, this weekend.
After suffering from the longest losing streak in his career (eight races), Team San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart came back to the podium, dominating the last two rounds. After winning St. Louis and Seattle Supercross, has placed himself in fourth in the championship points battle with only two rounds remaining – this weekend’s Salt Lake City event and the finale in Las Vegas.
Fourth may seem like a bad position to be in with two Supercross rounds reamining, but the top four are only separated by nine points. Stewart trails the leader Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto by nine points.
In second a mere five points behind Villopoto is Two-Two Motorsports Honda rider Chad Reed. One point behind Reed is the reigning AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki), and one point behind Dungey is Stewart.
After his two consecutive wins, Stewart now ties Villopoto for most wins of the 2011 AMA Supercross season: both riders have five wins, with Dungey and Reed having one each.
Stewart has some luck at Salt Lake City; he won there in 2009 en route to his second Supercross Championship.
James Stewart (San Manuel Yamaha YZ450F) says: “I was able to get a good start in Seattle, which made it a lot easier to manage the race. I went into last weekend’s break with the momentum, and I look forward to coming out swinging heading into Salt Lake City this Saturday.”
At Seattle, Dungey recorded his second-worst finish of the 2011 season after taking fifth. Dungey has been on the podium 11 times this season. He commented following Seattle SX.
Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Maktia Suzuki RMZ450) says: “All in all, it was a pretty good night. I got off to a good start in my heat and ended up finishing third. The track was really gnarly out there. It kind of wanted to just come up and bite you, especially by the end of the 20 laps.
“I got off to a decent start, but I fell down in the first lap and I think I was near last. But at that point, I just put my head down and tried to pick off as many guys as I could and was able to move up and finish fifth. Everyone did a great job today. Going forward, we have a nice break and then we’ll get into Salt Lake and will be ready to give it a hard push for the last two races.”
In the Western Regional Supercross Lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle grabbed the points lead after taking third in Seattle. Tickle leads his teammate Josh Hansen 145-143 as the Lites series heads to Salt Lake City this weekend; Troy Lee Honda’s Cole Seeley took the second win of his career last week in Seattle.
Cole Seeley (Troy Lee Honda CRF250R) says: “It feels great to come back and get win. I’ve been practicing my starts and my biked hooked up tonight and worked great. I think the extra time on the big bikes really helped prepare me to come back.”
GIECO Honda’s Eli Tomac currently sits third in the Western Regional Supercross Lites class championship, just seven points behind Tickle.
2011 AMA Supercross Class Season Standings (after 15 of 16 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 293
2. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda – 287
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 286
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 284
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 255
6. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 196
7. Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 187
8. Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 156
9. Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 141
10. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 134
Western Regional Supercross Lites Class Season Standings
1. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki – 145
2. Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki – 143
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 138
4. Cole Seely, Corona, Calif., Honda – 113
5. Ryan Morais, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki – 110
6. Tyla Rattray, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki – 96
7. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha – 89
8. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM – 83
9. Martin Davalos, Cairo, Ga., Suzuki – 82
10. Jimmy Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda – 67
Past Winners in Salt Lake City
- May 1, 2010: Kevin Windham
- April 25, 2009: James Stewart
- April 24, 2004: Kevin Windham
- April 26, 2003: Chad Reed
- April 27, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
- April 28, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
Supercross Lites Class
- May 1, 2010: Josh Hansen
- April 25, 2009: Trey Canard
- April 24, 2004: Ivan Tedesco
- April 26, 2003: James Stewart
- April 27, 2002: James Stewart
- April 28, 2001: Ernesto Fonseca
Salt Lake City Supercross TV Schedule
CBS will air the AMA Supercross Class at noon (EST) Sunday, May 1. The Supercross Lites Class will be aired at 6 p.m. (EST) Sunday on SPEED TV.
Salt Lake City Supercross History
The first supercross race held at Rice-Eccles Stadium took place in 2001 where 42,135 packed the home of the 2002 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies to watch Ricky Carmichael race to victory. Carmichael holds the all-time Supercross class win record in Salt Lake City with two. Stewart holds the all-time Supercross Lites class win record at Salt Lake City with two.
Salt Lake City Supercross Tickets
Tickets available at the Rice-Eccles Box Office, SupercrossOnline.com, utahtickets.com, or charge by phone at (801) 581-UTIX. Tickets will also be available at participating Yamaha dealers. Practice and qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m., and the main event begins at 7 p.m. Gold tickets: $45; Mid-level tickets: $35; Treadhead tickets: $10. Fans can also get into the Pits for FREE from 12:30 – 6 p.m. Race Day when they recycle a MONSTER Energy Can at the stadium Pit Entrance (valid only with event ticket).